The Coaching Effect Blog

Leadership Lessons from Medal of Honor Recipients

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

August 3, 2011

 Lisa Petrilli (@LisaPetrilli), CEO of C-Level Strategies shared a blog post  about her experience listening to speeches by two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer Michael Thornton and retired U.S. Army Corporal Rodolfo Hernandez.   Below are a few quotes from these two gentlemen. 

Powerful correlation to salesmedal of honor leadership....

About the Medal of Honor:

I hold it in trust for those who never grew up to be grandfathers.

I wear it for those who performed acts far greater than those I did, but there was no one left to tell their story.

On Leadership:

You never truly lead anybody until you learn to serve, and you never truly learn to serve until you learn there’s something so much greater than yourself.

If it’s to be it’s up to me. I lead by taking the first step.

As a leader, only ask others to do what you’ve done.  Only ask them to do what you’re willing to do.

On the battlefield:

I stood up and looked him in the eye.

You don’t leave your brother…it wasn’t even a decision.

I felt something had to be done.  I didn’t even think about it, I just did it.

I asked them to trust me.  And I promised them I’d bring them home.

The reason we fought so hard was ’cause we loved each other.

On Our Country:

I am an American!

Freedom is not free.  People really need to understand this…freedom is not free.

We live in the greatest country in the world.  I’ve traveled to 76 countries and dived on every shore.  We are so lucky in America.

Service is everything.  It’s about us as a nation and as a community.

Personal lessons and insights:

My biggest obstacle to overcome is myself.

No one is exempt from fear…you have no choice but to do it.

Turn your fear into a positive goal. That’s how you overcome it.

Final Words of Wisdom

You can all make great changes in the country.

Set a goal every day and meet it.  That’s how you get through Navy Seal training.  That’s how you succeed in life.

Dream big.

Never give up. Never quit. Never give up.



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